What to do when your Rabbit's Fur is Falling Out
You may be saying, Help! My rabbit is losing its fur in big
clumps, and its skin is dark underneath the lost hair! Does
it have a disease?
We are happy to tell you that your rabbit is most likely
just molting. Young rabbits molt out their baby fur and
replace it with their adult fur when they are about five
months old. Adult rabbits generally molt once or twice a
year as well. A pet house rabbit may well go through one large molt
per year and many small molts at other times (which are easy
to deal with by basic grooming).
Some rabbits molt so much fur at once that you'd expect the
bunny to be bald (coat blow). Others molt slowly over a few
weeks or even months. Sometimes rabbits molt first in
strange patches, like in a stripe down their back or from
the face back. Sometimes the molting fur looks darker than
the rest of the rabbit's fur.
Some rabbits don't seem to even notice that their fur is
leaving them, but others may mope and act like they don't
feel well. But if your rabbit is molting and acts unwell,
don't assume that it is caused by the molt, look for other
problems just in case.
Molting is natural in rabbits and can't be prevented, but if
you keep the rabbit's diet steady and avoid wide temperature
fluctuations in its environment you can at least avoid
triggering any extra molts.
When a rabbit is molting it is vulnerable to wool block,
which is a dangerous intestinal blockage due to ingesting
hair during self-grooming. Rabbits can't vomit up a
like a cat can, so it has to come out the other end. Many
rabbit owners recommend that you feed your rabbits papaya
tablets daily to help keep their digestive systems working
correctly, and at molting time, add some dried papaya, fresh
banana, or a small amount of fresh pineapple every day to
help them excrete any swallowed hair.
If you think your rabbit already has a hairball, try putting
a little pineapple juice into the side of its mouth. The
enzymes in pineapple juice are said to dissolve hair, and
many rabbit owners report great success with this home
remedy. But don't wait to see what happens if your rabbit
isn't making feces, it doesn't take very long at all, maybe
as little as within the first twenty-four hours, for a
rabbit to die of a digestive upset.
Be sure also to diligently brush and groom your rabbit every
day during its molt. That way you can not only keep the
rabbit looking better, but prevent matting of the loose fur
and remove fur so that the rabbit can't swallow it during
If you don't think that the rabbit's hair loss is from
molting, you should consult with your veterinarian. Other
possible causes may be pregnancy, stress,
temperatures, false pregnancy in female rabbits, over-
grooming by another rabbit, fighting, or a hormone
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